On "Stop Cyberbullying Day," the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) teamed up with Puncforon, the winner of UNDP's Digital Khichuri Challenge in 2020, to launch the "#MyResponse" campaign to raise awareness on online harassment.
With the advent of the internet and the rising popularity of social networks, information has become more accessible than ever, while communication is the easiest it's ever been. But there are negative sides to this accessibility as well, as social networks have become a major space for cyberbullying and online harassment, especially against women, girls and minorities. Bangladeshi children aged between 10-17 years are increasingly more vulnerable to online violence, cyberbullying, and digital harassment. A recent study revealed that Bangladesh has a high rate of cyberbullying and 80 percent of the victims are girls and women aged 14-22. A significant majority of cybercriminals and hackers fall between the age range of 16-17.
According to experts, the risk can be reduced if internet users can be made more informed.
Particularly, children and adolescents should be sensitised on the dos and don'ts of the internet.
UNDP, under its "Partnerships for a Tolerant and Inclusive Bangladesh (PTIB)" project, has long been working with the government and other partners to improve the digital literacy of youth and prevent violent extremism in Bangladesh. 'My Response' campaign is an initiative of UNDP and Puncforon to contain the rising trend of cyber harassment. Under this campaign, noted personalities urged all for an end to cyberbullying in Bangladesh.
"We have to break the silence because cyber offenders get away with the crime when there is no protest. It is time to act together against all forms of cyberbullying," said Chanchal Chowdhury, award-winning actor.
Singer Partha Barua, actress Rafiath Rashid Mithila and Bangladesh's first transgender news presenter, Tashnuva Anan Shishir have also joined in the campaign with the hashtag #MyResponse to protest against cyberbullying.
UNGP encourages the online communities to speak up against cyberbullying with the hashtag #MyResponse.